West Norfolk is toasting a new world record holder after Gaywood’s Robbie Ferri successfully completed a gruelling challenge to cycle through 15 different countries in just seven days.
Riding solo for around 17 to 18 hours every day, and covering an average of 220 miles on each leg of his epic journey, Mr Ferri rode from Eastern Europe and across the Alps mountain range before crossing the finish line when he entered Holland.
Mr Ferri, 31, a fitness instructor at Heros gym in King’s Lynn, now faces a wait for his witness statements and video footage to be scrutinised by officials who administer world records.
But all being well, Mr Ferri’s name will soon be entered into the record books.
Speaking to Your Local Paper just hours after he returned home on Tuesday, Mr Ferri said: “I was so happy with the ride, it was an awesome trip and to finish it was phenomenal.
“I felt so strong and I was firing on all cylinders constantly.
“I’m relieved to have achieved something that I’ve wanted for so many years.”
The journey was Mr Ferri’s third attempt at covering 15 countries in a week, having struggled with injury and poor weather conditions previously.
“I had good weather mostly this time but the last day there was some really bad headwind and I was getting absolutely battered and thrown around everywhere, so I changed my route and followed a valley just to get out of the wind,” he said.
Setting off from Romania in Eastern Europe, Mr Ferri passed through Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia before crossing into Italy.
Passing Lake Garda, he then headed over the Alps mountain range and into Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria and Germany, before riding up through France, Luxembourg and Belgium, arriving in Holland with 10 hours to spare.
“Having a world record is fantastic and I am really happy to have it in my name,” said Mr Ferri. “But the things I’ll take away from it the most are all the incredible memories and that if you fail to do something then don’t give up, try again.”
Mr Ferri said his favourite moments were arriving at Lake Garda in Italy at 2am and then later crossing the Alps through the Splugen Pass into Switzerland.
“I couldn’t believe how beautiful Lake Garda is at night with all the lights reflecting on its surface and lighting it up. It is so well looked-after. I adored it,” he said.
The journey was not without its darker moments, with Mr Ferri forced to endure turbulent storms one night when he passed through Germany’s Black Forest at 4am.
“I had to go into a full blown thunder storm riding through the forest, which was eerie and dark with flashes of lightening and torrential rain.
“All you could see were these strange shapes lit-up among the trees. It was like something from a horror film.
“I was soaked through and cold but when the storm stopped and the sun came up it was beautiful.”
A the end of his journey, Mr Ferri had to get witness statements signed by local authorities and sought out a Dutch fire station crew as witnesses.
“To me it is always about the bike ride and the world record is just a piece of paper,” added Mr Ferri.
“It’s never about the outcome, it is about the journey. To be honest, I find the end an anti-climax as I just want to keep on riding.”
True to his word, once back in the UK, Mr Ferri cycled through the night from London King’s Cross and back home to King’s Lynn.
And he’s already planning his next adventure and will be heading to Taiwan in the autumn.